All About Abacus!

Oct 06, 2020

We all know of learning centers similar to Best Brains that are dedicated to aiding students when it comes to core subjects like Math and English, but what sets Best Brains of Algonquin apart from the rest? While we do teach supplemental courses like CogAT Prep, Coding, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, and S.T.E.M. (visit our “Programs” tab on our website for more information), we have one course that is unique to Best Brains: Abacus!

Typically, when we first refer to abacus, we get a few confused looks. However, we get some nodding heads after saying “It’s that calculator with the beads on it.” In reality, though, abacus is so much more than that. Abacus is an incredibly effective tool not only to do some speedy calculations, but also to improve your child’s overall learning abilities.

First, let's talk about where the abacus came from. The abacus is a tool that was created in ancient times and was used for mathematical calculations. It has been commonly used in many Asian places like China, Russia, Europe, and the ancient Near East prior to the formation of the Arabic numeral system. Over time, the abacus has evolved from a simple row of beads on a flat surface to the functional handheld tools we use today. Fun fact: An abacus is often used by the visually impaired due to its tactile mode of calculation!

With its unique calculation style, the abacus holds the key to many useful academic skills and improvements. Firstly, learning abacus has been known to help improve photographic memory as the practice of visually seeing the calculations take place works that specific area of the brain. At Best Brains, we practice something called “visualization” where the student will visualize the abacus in their head and complete problems using the abacus in their imagination. By continually nurturing these visual and imaginative skills, your child can develop a stronger sense of visualization and photographic memory over time. The more and more this ability grows, the better your student will be at completing calculations quickly -- without the use of a calculator or abacus! They develop the skills to simply use the abacus in their head to do calculations quickly and efficiently. The more self-sufficient they are in completing calculations individually, the more their confidence will grow!

Teaching Abacus is one of our favorite things to do here at Best Brains of Algonquin because we love to see how much the students grow not only in their abacus course, but in their other courses as well. Abacus is an incredibly effective tool in improving students’ overall performance and truly helps them to be their best!

Not only that, but we always wrap up class with an Abacus-related activity that our students look forward to and it helps them learn skills like how to collaborate and promotes healthy competition.